U.S. beats Russia, earns top quarterfinal seed at hockey worlds

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The U.S. men’s hockey team rallied past Russia 5-3 on Tuesday, rolling into the world championship quarterfinals as a top seed.

The U.S. will play Finland in the quarterfinals Thursday at 10:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app. A full broadcast schedule is here.

The Americans, with one Olympian on their roster (goalie Jimmy Howard), won their last six group-play games after losing the opener to worlds co-host Germany.

It’s the best U.S. record in group play since the annual tournament switched to a pair of eight-team groups in 2012.

The U.S. downed world powers Russia and Sweden (4-3) in group play, but the favorite is two-time defending champion Canada. Canada topped the opposite group, meaning it would not play the U.S. until a potential gold-medal game on Sunday in Cologne.

The U.S. reached the semifinals three of the last four years at worlds, bagging bronze in 2013 and 2015. It last won the world title in 1960.

Its roster is led by Jack Eichel, a 20-year-old who led the Sabres with 57 points in his second NHL season. The full U.S. roster is here.

New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes scored twice Tuesday, while Howard stopped 16 of 19 Russian shots. A full box score is here.

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